Maryland Federal Criminal Lawyer
White-collar crimes such as fraudulent conversion of partnership assets, fraudulent misrepresentation, embezzlement, bribery, removal of property and operation of a pyramid scheme are taken very seriously in Maryland. While many white collar crimes result in misdemeanors upon conviction, they can come with heavy fines and lengthy prison sentences on par with felonies. If you’ve been charged with a white-collar crime in Maryland, your best means of legal recourse is to get in touch with one of our seasoned, qualified criminal defense lawyers in Baltimore, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County or another of our locations. Doing so will maximize your odds of receiving a favorable outcome at your trial.
Federal Crime Info
Fraudulent Conversion of Partnership Assets
According to code ß 8-401 of the Maryland criminal law code, it is illegal for a partner in a business to do any of the following with fraudulent intent:
- Convert or otherwise appropriate partnership property or money to the partner’s own use
- Make, or otherwise cause to be made, a false entry of a partnership transaction in partnership records
- Fail to make an entry in official partnership records showing the true nature of a transaction that relates to the partnership business, or involves the use of partnership property or money
The penalty for these types of crimes involves a misdemeanor, as well as a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine not to exceed $5,000.
Fraudulent Misrepresentation by Corporate Officer or Agent
Maryland criminal code ß 8-402 prohibits fraudulent misrepresentation by a corporate agent or officer. According to this code, it is illegal for an agent or officer of a corporation to sign or assent to a publication for or a statement to the public or shareholders of the corporation that falsely represents the corporations affairs, liabilities or assets with the intent of defrauding. This is illegal when the intent is to commit any type of fraud, or to artificially depress or enhance the true market value of the corporation’s obligations or shares.
The penalty for this crime is a misdemeanor, as well as a prison term between 6 months and 3 years and a fine between $1,000 and $10,000.
Removal of Personal Property
Removal of personal property is covered by Maryland criminal code ß 8-403. According to this code, it is prohibited for a debtor in possession of personal property subject to a security interest to destroy, sell, hypothecate or secrete the property, or remove or sell the property away from the county where it is located at the time of the security interest being attached, under the following circumstances:
- The debtor intends to defraud the secured party
- The debtor does so without written consent from the secured party or an assignee of the secured party
According to part (b) of code ß 8-403, this same law applies to a debtor who possess personal property under levy pursuant to a writ of execution, in addition to property subject to a security interest. According to part (c), it also applies to sellers of personal property who possess the property under a recorded bill of sale.
The penalty for these types of crimes includes a misdemeanor, imprisonment for up to 6 months and a fine of no more than $500.
Pyramid Promotional Schemes
Maryland criminal code ß 8-404 outlaws pyramid promotional schemes. The code begins with section (a), which outlines definitions relevant to pyramid promotional schemes:
- “Compensation” – Payment based on a distribution or sale made to a participant in an operation or plan, or a person who is entitled to become a participant upon making a payment
- “Consideration” – Does not include the right to receive a rebate or discount based on the acquisition or purchase of services or goods by a bona fide cooperate association or buying group, effort or time spent pursuing recruiting activities or sales, or payment for purchases of services or goods provided at cost for the purpose of making sales to individuals who are not current participants in the scheme, and who are not making purchases in order to become participants in the scheme
- “Promote” – Induce another individual or individuals to become participants
- “Pyramid Promotional Scheme” – An operation or plan in which a participant gives consideration for the chance to receive compensation, compensation derived mostly from introducing other individuals into participation in the operation or plan as opposed to from the sale of services, goods or other property
According to code ß 8-404(b), it is illegal for an individual to establish, promote, advertise or operate a pyramid promotional scheme. It is also prohibited to defend such actions by asserting that the operation or plan limits the number of individuals who may participate, or limits the extent of participation on the part of the participants. It is also not a valid defense to assert that a participant obtains any other goods, services or property in addition to the rights to compensation upon payment of any kind by the participant.
The penalty for promoting, advertising, establishing or operating a pyramid promotional scheme is a misdemeanor, as well as a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 1 year in jail.
Maryland criminal code ß 7-113 covers embezzlement, or fraudulent misappropriation by fiduciary. According to this code, a fiduciary is prohibited from willfully and fraudulently appropriating money or anything of value that the individual holds in a fiduciary capacity contrary to the stated requirements of the individual’s trust responsibility. This same code makes it illegal for a fiduciary to secrete money or anything of value held in a fiduciary capacity with the intention of fraudulently using the money contrary to the requirements of the individual’s trust responsibility.
A classic example of embezzlement is a cashier for a business who places money from patrons into his or her own pocket rather than the cash register or till used by the business.
The penalty for embezzlement is a misdemeanor, as well as a prison term lasting between 1 and 5 years depending on the severity of the offense, the area in which the offense is prosecuted and more.
Bribery of Public Employee
Maryland criminal code ß 9-201 prohibits the bribery of a public employee, and prohibits public employees from accepting bribes. Within this code, a public employee can be an employee or officer of the state, or a political subdivision of the state. In addition, a public employee includes executive officers, judges and judicial officers of the state, as well as members or officers of the general assembly, members of the police force of the Department of State Police of Baltimore County, and members, officers and executive officers of political subdivisions.
According to part (b) of this code, it is illegal to bribe or attempt to bribe a public employee with the intention of influencing that employee in the performance of his or her official duties. Part (c) of this code prohibits public employees from receiving or demanding bribes, rewards, testimonials or fees in order to fail or neglect to perform official duties, or influence the performance of official duties.
The penalty for bribery is a misdemeanor, as well as a prison term ranging from 2 to 12 years and a fine between $100 and $5,000, depending on the specific circumstances of the bribe, such as its size and resulting effects. In addition, individuals found guilty of misdemeanor bribery lose their voting rights, as well as their ability to hold an office of profit or trust within the state of Maryland.
Our Maryland defense lawyers are well-versed in handling federal, corporate and white collar crimes with precision and the utmost care. We staff offices in many locations throughout Maryland, including Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Rockville, Columbia, College Park, Bethesda and, of course, Baltimore. Our proliferation throughout Maryland makes it easy for clients to meet with us for an initial consultation, which is always completely free and comes with no obligations or commitment.
With a metropolitan area numbering close to 3 million individuals and a city containing over 620,000, Baltimore is by far the largest city in Maryland. It’s also a haven for crime, with an overall crime rate of 6,078 crimes per 100,000 people per year, well beyond the national average and the Maryland average as well. As in any major metropolitan area, white-collar crime is highly prevalent in Baltimore. If you’ve been charged with a white-collar offense, your best course of action is to hire an experienced defense attorney with a solid record of success.
Bethesda is a mid-sized Maryland city with roughly 61,000 residents. The annual crime rate is 2,772 crimes per 100,000 individuals per year, or 1,687 crimes annually, which is greater than in 71% of other U.S. cities. While this rate is still below the Maryland average, it comprises many white-collar crimes as well as violent ones. A consultation with one of our skilled white-collar lawyers is free for the initial visit.
Despite its relatively small population of 30,000 individuals, College Park is a bustling college community with over half of residents aged between 18 and 24 and an extraordinary rate of crime at 5,840 crimes per 100,000 people annually. College Park has over 88% of its workforce directly involved in white-collar jobs. This leads to a glut of white-collar crimes, as well. Being charged with a white-collar crime in College Park is serious, and certainly warrants the assistance of an experienced attorney from our offices.
One of the only Maryland cities that could be considered more white-collar than College Park is Columbia, a city with a population of roughly 100,000 and roughly 94% of its workforce dedicating their professional lives to white-collar work. The crime rate is far lower than College Park’s at 2,807 crimes per 100,000 individuals each year, many of those being white-collar crimes. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Columbia, don’t hesitate to seek the assistance of one of our skilled criminal lawyers.
Montgomery County includes a population of almost one million individuals, spread throughout cities including Bethesda, Rockville, Germantown and Silver Spring. The crime rate in Silver Spring, the biggest city in the county, is above average at 3,625 per 100,000 individuals annually. White-collar crimes are taken very seriously in Montgomery County, though they’re more rare than in areas such as Columbia and College Park. Hiring our Maryland white-collar lawyers will maximize your odds of receiving a favorable outcome at your trial.
Prince George’s County
Located just east of the District of Columbia with a population over 860,000, Prince George’s County includes College Park, Hyattsville, Suitland-Silver Hill, Chillum, Oxon Hill-Glassmanor and its largest city, Bowie. In Bowie, the crime rate is relatively low at 2,354 per 100,000 individuals per year. Our criminal lawyers in Prince George’s County have years of experience fighting charges of white-collar crime using every available legal resource.
Rockville includes 61,000 residents, and most of its workforce is decidedly white-collar. The annual crime rate is moderate at 2,547 per 100,000 people per year, and many of these crimes are white-collar in nature. If you’ve been charged with a crime of any sort in Rockville, our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help.